Presentation on theme: "Vehicle Maintenance I would love to spend many hours here, but there is not enough time in driver education address more than the highlights. So here are."— Presentation transcript:
Vehicle Maintenance I would love to spend many hours here, but there is not enough time in driver education address more than the highlights. So here are the highlights.
Oil, your cars lifeline The most important issue in your vehicles life is selecting the correct oil and changing it regularly.
Changing your oil I will mention referring to your owners manual, but I will change my oil more often than the manual may suggest. Never go beyond 4,000 miles between oil changes. Some would recommend every 3,000. some owners manuals go as high as 7,500 miles between changes. Oil is cheap, engines are expensive. Always replace the filter too.
Selection of an oil A. Brand name. There are many choices. Check the web for those rated best. I use Castrol GTX. Cheap, well rated. B. Grade, SE or better. All oils are good enough. Diesels use a different type. C. Weight. Consult your owner's manual D. Always use the SAME brand and weight.
Additives Synthetics are great, cost much more. Not really needed. Many product claims out there. Be careful. Additives are good, consult your warranty information BEFORE using these. Again, many promises made, be careful. Pick a good oil, change it and the filter regularly, and you will not need any of that other stuff.
Coolant (anti-freeze) A. Strong enough to protect your engine. You can buy a hydrometer at Advance for a couple bucks, test it. B. Clean. When it becomes dirty, have the system flushed and replaced with new coolant. Be careful about the new GM coolants, they can NOT be mixed with ethylene glycol.
Batteries Most maintenance free batteries are just that. It is still a good idea to have the battery terminals cleaned each year (Fall is best). An old tooth brush and baking soda will clean the junk off. Flush with a hose to make sure everything is off. Buy a terminal cleaner for a dollar at AutoZone. If you are having trouble, Advance and AutoZone will test your system and your battery for free.
Tune ups On today's vehicles, there is virtually no tune up necessary. New cars require new plugs @ 100,000 miles. Be careful of dealerships wanting to bring your car back for "routine" maintenance. Change the oil. Change the air filter at least once a year. If you live on a dirt road, more often.
If you find an honest repair place. If you are fortunate enough to find one of these, take him a turkey at the holidays. Many exposes have been done about how people are ripped off by repair shops. Be extra careful. Ask for a second opinion.
Timing belts Timing belts are an exception. They need to be replaced about every 60,000 miles, before they break. When they break, they will leave you stranded on the road or may cause serious damage to your engine. ($2,000) check you owners manual. (Timing chains are not necessary to replace because they seldom break).
Brakes There are two simple tests for brakes. A. With the vehicle running-push the brake pedal hard for 60 seconds. If the pedal stays in the same position, the hydraulic system is probably OK. B. Drive @ 20 MPH, take your hands off the wheel and apply the brakes. The car should stop smoothly and straight. If the car pulls either way-have them checked soon. Be careful! The brake light on the dash might mean you parking brake is on, your brake fluid is low, or your pads/shoes are worn and need replaced. If at any time you hear strange noises when applying the brakes, have them checked. Unfortunately, on some vehicles, some noise is inevitable.
The dreaded check engine light Since 1996, OBD or on board diagnostic units have been installed in all vehicles sold in the US. These units are designed to inform the driver that something is wrong with one or more of the systems in their vehicle. These smart cars (OBD) should help the mechanic fix the right thing first.
How should we select a vehicle? Let me start with the most important factor reported by survey. Color. That sure makes me proud. The next two things that sell vehicles, safety and performance. We want to go like a bat out of _____ but be safe in doing so.
Moving on…. There are at least three general rules when selecting a vehicle: A. Know what you want; do your research, dont buy a car just because it is a good deal. You will never be happy with it. B. Know how much you can spend; include insurance, maintenance and fuel. C. Don't get in a hurry. There are millions of vehicles for sale, take your time. Have it checked out by that mechanic we talked about earlier. The one with the turkey.
Saving money, planning A. Phone ahead. Don't waste trips. B. Drive the economy car, not your SUV. C. Car pool. D. Combine errands. E. Plan routes to avoid traffic and lights. 45MPH is most efficient. F. Use transit system. G. Avoid rush hour.
Saving money, driving There are many ways to drive more fuel efficiently. A. Slow down (45-50 MPH produce the best MPG) B. Increase following distance (avoid braking) C. Don't accelerate on hills. D. Keep moving, anticipate lights and traffic. E. 55 MPH saves 15% over 65 MPH. At 75 MPH you are driving into a hurricane force wind. F. Accelerate less aggressively, the faster you accelerate, the more gas you use.
Fuel Costs As fuel costs go up, vehicle selection, trip planning and how you drive will become more of a concern to all of us. Consider if gas was $10 a gallon as it is in Europe, would you change what, when and how you drive? It will be $10 soon enough. I just changed this slide because I had $3 on it…….. Dont blink………
No extra charge As crude oil continues to cost more, exploration becomes more economically feasible. We will go after the harder deposits of oil. Oil drilling is much more environmentally safe than is the past. Alternative fuels become more feasible, (ethanol, coal, even nuclear energy,) as oil prices go up. We (US) have much of the resources we need. Auto manufactures are going to build more fuel efficient vehicles because the market will demand it. Maybe even hydrogen will work one day. Energy from water, whod a thunk it?
Did you know? That Nikolaus August Otto invented the internal combustion engine in 1864? The design concept has not really changed in 150 years. Again, no extra charge for that.